Karen Lewis, the Chicago Teachers Union president who rails against wealthy residents of the city for not paying their fair share, makes more than $200,000 a year and owns three homes.
One of the homes is in Hawaii.
She is currently exploring the possibility of running for mayor against fellow Democrat and wealthy incumbent Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s former chief of staff. The election takes place in February.
A crusader for economic justice and a foe of income disparity in the city, Lewis has bashed Emanuel as a corporate shill and called him “Mayor 1%.” They clashed over the 2012 teacher’s strike and school closings among other issues.
As The Inquisitrpreviously reported, Lewis last year blamed rich white people for the systemic problems in the Chicago school system and wants to raise their taxes to fix things.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the “solidly middle class” Lewis has nonetheless admitted to being in the five percent, which apparently is less bad than being in the one percent, but insisted that she doesn’t lead an extravagant lifestyle or socialize with fat-cats.
As far as her real estate holdings are concerned, “Lewis isn’t as wealthy as Emanuel, a multimillionaire who made his fortune during a short stint as an investment banker. But she makes more than $200,000 a year and has an ownership interest in three homes, records show. That includes vacation homes in Hawaii and in the upscale ‘Harbor Country’ area of southwestern Michigan, where Emanuel has a second home, property records show.” Lewis and her husband, a retired teacher, own a condo in Chicago as their primary residence, valued at about $400,000 when purchased seven years ago.
As the head of the teacher’s union, Lewis last year earned about $137,000 plus approximately $19,000 in “nontaxable benefits,” according to the Sun-Times. For a second job as executive vice president of the Illinois Federation of Teachers, she takes home roughly $80,000 a year.
When she first ran for president of the union in 2010, she vowed not to accept a salary greater than the highest-paid teacher in Chicago. She now says her promise is still valid because she works all-year-round, rather than just during the school year, and claims to put in 15-hour days.
In the meantime, lavish teachers pensions in Illinois are bringing the painfully underfunded state retirement system to the brink of bankruptcy. Lewis apparently wants to hike taxes to pay for the massive shortfall.
Documentary filmmaker and baseball-cap-wearing foe of capitalism Michael Moore, who likes to project a blue-collar image, is another prominent individual that might be classified as a hypocritical limousine liberal (a.k.a. “champagne socialist” in the U.K.). According to recent divorce filings, Moore owns nine homes, including a 100,000 square foot lakefront mansion in Michigan. Moore’s fortune with his ex-wife was reported to be in the range of $50 million.
Do you think five-percenter Karen Lewis will run against one-percenter Rahm Emanuel for mayor of Chicago?
[image via Bing]